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Enterprise/Agency-Wide Multiple Award contracts – how many does government really need?
May 19, 2010 at 1:06 am #100811
As you may be aware, Dan Gordon, the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has been looking at the proliferation of numerous, potentially overlapping contract vehicles across government (especially in the area of IT). Jason Miller of Federal News Radio has recently published a couple of articles and interviews on this subject.
What are your thoughts? Are there “too many” overlapping/duplicative contracts? Is there a better way for agencies to buy what they need than continuing to award agency specific contracts? What about GSA’s role and the contracts that are made available by GSA for any agency to use (want objective opinions 🙂 please) – are they too generic?
May 19, 2010 at 9:18 pm #100815
Peter G. TuttleParticipant
Hi Mary. Great topic. Let me immediately head in a different direction. There may be too many MAC’s that are used to purchases duplicative commodities or services. To me the question is “Why do we have so many in the first place?” followed by “Do we really need them all?” I think we can easily go down a rat hole on this one. Perhaps agencies felt that GSA Schedules and GWACS were not providing enough value. Perhaps they thought their needs were “special” enough to justify a separate vehicle. Perhaps the felt that it would be a great idea to establish fee for use/services types of arrangements which would allow an inflow of user fee “cash” into an agency. The list of reasons goes on and on. Do we really need them all? Probably not, but who is going to kill off an agency MAC that generates use fees and that other agencies like & use because of the value gained? OFPP? It’ll be a hard thing to do. Will GSA be able to create value to the point where MAC clients change their allegiances and return GSA to its position of market-share dominance? Possibly. There are also other issues such as competition that enter into the fray as well. As we progress into the 21st Century with a still-diminished acquisition work force, tighter budgets, and more complex methodology as to how we satisfy our requirements, the time is right to figure out the right mix of available contracting vehicles that government buyers can leverage. Perhaps this might be a great subject for the CAO Council to struggle with. Anyway, cheers. Pete
May 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm #100813
WRT : IT related contracts
One way is to arrest contract redundancies at the agency / department level. If contract overlapping occurs, then CIO and Chief Architect have not done very job in the creation of the contracts and investments. Also, it seems procurement / acquisition planning is not integrated into capital planning, PMO and enterprise architecture based planning.
Past several years, efforts are on to reconcile contract vehicles. To address this issue “Integrated Acquisition Environment” initiative was conceptualized. GSA alone manages contracts of about $16 Billion / annum.
At the link below, the number of acquisition systems that currently exists are listed. I don’t think architecturally they have solved streamlining the contract vehicles.
IAE : “The Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE), a Presidential E-Government initiative managed by GSA, has facilitated every phase of the acquisition lifecycle, from market research to contract administration. The federal government has made the acquisition of goods and services streamlined and cost-effective with IAE. The goal of the IAE initiative is to integrate, unify and streamline the federal acquisition process for government buyers and sellers. The acquisition functions common to all agencies are now centrally managed as shared systems. The IAE business structure provides a secure business environment that facilitates and supports acquisition in support of agency mission performance. ”
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